I am wondering what drives the choice of a platform over another.
Are some platform more suitable for some type of application?
Do some platform offer specific/special features?
I think it’s a ratio of cost/performance/energy.
For example if you want to build a PDA type device; x86 are definitely out, simply because they draw too much current for a given performance (although Via has some interesting CPU).
Some CPU (PowerPC comes to minds) offers good performance and with some model a lot of integrated devices, ethernet, serial port, etc.
Then add form factor, SBC, ATX, VME, VXI, ComactPCI, PC104, PC104+, custom design and you got plenty of variables to juggle with
My two favorites are PowerPC and x86, in that order. Someday maybe QNX will run on my Mac.
To be more specific, I’m currently working on a motion controller that uses a 1kHz control loop. It will require 2 analog inputs and 1 output per axis, from 1 to 3 axis. A quadrature counter will also be used. Energy is not an issue since it is not intended to ruin on batteries. A PC104 or 3.5" Biscuit form factor is perfect for the application. EBX is the very upper limit regarding size.
I’m just being curious, that’s a project we already worked on with an x86 and it was ok. Would another platform perform better for this type of application?
Unless you talk about volume (cost reduction) I would stick to x86. Give you a lot more flexiblity in component you can choose.